Vol. 9 - Methods to assess the effects of sensory stimulations on wellness

The use of sensorial immersion relaxation devices or practices becomes more and more frequent to face the demand of wellness in our western society, where stress is a hallmark. These various devices use auditory, visual, tactile and olfactory stimuli, as well as a mix of them. At the opposite, some stimuli in the environment could have negative repercussion on our well-being. However, methods for scientifically assessing the physiological and psychological impact of these sensorial stimulations are sorely lacking. This volume of JIMIS will present recent work that may prove useful in the future for scientifically evaluating the impact on the well-being of different types of sensory stimulation, desired or a contrario suffered.

1. Physiological and psychological effects of rapid relaxation devices using sensorial immersion: a pilot study

Norma Gomes ; Sepideh Iranfar ; Slah Aridhi ; Alice Guyon.
In developed societies, the number of people diagnosed with chronic stress-related illnesses has risen rapidly in recent years. To meet the increasing demand for relaxation and well-being, several companies have developed relaxation installations to be used within business premises or in public locations. The effects of such devices on physiological and psychological parameters have not been scientifically tested yet. This pilot study (N=40) evaluates the variations of 4 physiological and 11 psychological parameters on four different groups, three of them using a different rapid (15 minute) sensorial immersion relaxation devices and a control group using no device. The objective of the study was to identify the psychological and psychological parameters of interest and to study the effects of the devices on these parameters. Physiological parameters measured included heart rate, blood pressure, SpO2 and posture. Psychological parameters included an anxiety survey and four numerical scales to evaluate well-being, energy gain, and subjective muscular and nervous relaxation. We also used cognitive tests and verbatim reports. We identified significant physiological and psychological parameters that can be of use for evaluating rapid relaxation devices (particularly mean blood pressure, posture, subjective muscular and nervous relaxation and some of the cognitive test results). Interestingly, the parameters variations differed between groups. This study paves the way for further […]
Section: Subject Area 4: Integrative Health

2. Physiological effects (heart rate, respiration rate and EEG) of rapid relaxation devices with sensorial immersion: a pilot study

Norma Gomes ; Sepideh Iranfar ; Kostiantyn Maksymenko ; Slah Aridhi ; Alice Guyon.
Rapid relaxation devices developed by private companies propose rapid solutions to fight against stress or anxiety. However, there have been insufficient scientific studies on these devices. In a previous article, we evaluated the variation of 15 physiological and psychological parameters before and after relaxation in 4 groups of participants using 3 different rapid (15 minute) relaxation devices with sensorial immersion and a control group using no device. This pilot study included 40 participants, 12 males and 28 females, aged 27-68 years old with an average of 42.7 ± 11.5 years old and showed that some parameters were more relevant for the analysis of these relaxation devices and suggested some differences in the relaxation processes between devices. We hypothesized that by analyzing physiological parameters recorded during the rapid relaxation process in the same population, we could unravel the previously observed pre-post treatment variations. The measurements included brain wave electroencephalography (Muse2 EEG) recordings, respiration rhythm (mechanical abdominal movements) and heart rate variability parameters (PPG signals). The objective of the study was to identify the physiological parameters recorded during relaxation of interest to discriminate the groups and to study the effects of the devices on these parameters. The EEG recordings showed differences in dominant waves between groups. In addition, the Be-Breathe intervention group exhibited a decreased […]
Section: Subject Area 4: Integrative Health

3. Use of automated speech analysis and facial emotion measurements on videos to assess the effects of relaxation devices: a pilot study

Elisa Elleuch ; Norma Gomes ; Noelia Do Carmo Blanco ; Christophe Zimmer ; Nicklas Linz ; Alexandra Konig ; Rachid Guerchouche ; Alice Guyon.
Rapid relaxation installations in order to reduce stress appear more and more in public or work places. However, the effects of such devices on physiological and psychological parameters have not been scientifically tested yet. This pilot study (N=40) evaluates the variations of vocal speech and facial emotions parameters in 3-minute videos of participant recorded just before and after relaxation, on four different groups, three of them using a different rapid (15 minutes) sensorial immersion relaxation devices and a control group using no device. Vocal speech parameters included sound duration, pause mean duration, sound duration ratio, mean vocal frequency (F0), standard deviation of F0, minimum and maximum of F0, jitter and shimmer. Facial emotion analysis included neutral, happy, sad, surprised, angry, disgusted, scared, contempt, valence and arousal. The objective of this study is to evaluate different parameters of the automated vocal and facial emotions analysis that could be of use to evaluate the relaxation effect of different devices and to measure their variations in the different experimental groups. We identified significant parameters that can be of use for evaluating rapid relaxation devices, particularly voice prosody and minimum vocal frequency, and some facial emotion such as happy, sad, the valence and arousal. Those parameters allowed us to discriminate distinct effects of the different devices used: in G1 (control) and G2 (spatialized sounds), we observed […]
Section: Subject Area 4: Integrative Health

4. Dance and embodiment: therapeutic benefits on body-mind health

Norma Gomes ; Sandrine Cochet ; Alice Guyon.
Dance is a universal form of human expression that constitutes a physical activity and a body language that involves motor, cognitive, visuospatial, emotional and social engagement. This article is focusing on the therapeutic benefits of dance regarding body-mind health. After an introduction, we discuss the connection between body movements and the nervous system, highlighting the neuronal correlates of dance recently evidenced by new methods in neuroscience of dance, showing how dance can positively act on the brain and the nerves and opening a wide range of opportunities to deal with body-mind health based in therapeutic dance approaches. We then present a review of scientific studies addressing the therapeutic effects of different practices involving dance, which are very structured on the embodiment or body consciousness aspect of the dance. The last section illustrates some clinical psychological benefits of dance therapy in clinics, when used at the bedside, focusing on the psychological and emotional points of view. In conclusion, this article reviews how recent methods allow demonstrating the therapeutic benefits of different dance approaches, that appear closely related to the essential role of body consciousness promoted by dancing.
Section: Subject Area 4: Integrative Health

5. Well-being and ill-being, the two Janus figures of a psychophysiological homeostasis

Gabriel Gandolfo.
Le bien-être, c’est tout d’abord une absence. Une absence de certains symptômes psychophysiologiques qui sont, quant à eux, l’expression d’un déséquilibre dans notre homéostasie mentale, et, par contrecoup, organique. Le bien-être, c’est comme le bonheur ou la bonne santé, ses concomitants : on ne s’aperçoit qu’on les avait seulement quand on ne les a plus, nous disent les parémiologues. Le bien-être, ce n’est ni une sensation, ni même un sentiment, c’est une disposition d’esprit, c’est l’ataraxie des Anciens. Mais alors comment arriver à mesurer une absence, quelque chose de l’ordre du spirituel qui échappe, par essence, à toute investigation normative ou quantitative ? Comment obvier ce qui apparaît bien comme étant une aporie ? C’est pourtant le pari pris par ce numéro spécial de la revue JIMIS : existe-t-il une méthodologie pertinente permettant d’évaluer les paramètres psychophysiologiques qui nous font « nous sentir bien » : ce sont en fait les mêmes qui, a contrario, sont perturbés en cas de mal-être. Car le paradoxe est bien là : le bien-être ne peut se définir que par une approche antinomique. Je vous propose donc, en guise de prolégomènes éditoriaux, un court épitomé historique portant surtout sur… le mal-être !
Section: Subject Area 4: Integrative Health

6. The use and impact of auditory stimulation in animals

Guillaume Ubiema ; Marine Siwiaszczyk ; Celine Parias ; Roman Bresso ; Christophe Hay ; Baptiste Mulot ; Scott A. Love ; Elodie Chaillou.
Music can cause pleasant sensations in humans whereas some noises can cause discomfort. The effects of music and noise have also been somewhat studied in animals, showing different impacts. In this review we aim to illustrate the differences and similarities between animals, in terms of their sensitivity to auditory stimuli (noise or music), by first recalling some generalities about the physical characteristics of sound and the biological bases of hearing. Second, based on the studies reported in this review, we conclude that ambient noise is harmful and/or stressful, and that musical sounds can take many forms with a large range of impacts in animals. Finally, we present two practical examples of the use of music with animals (one in the context of a zoo and the other in cattle breeding) and an example of an experiment designed to understand the impact of music on neonate lambs. These three examples highlight how music can help to improve animal welfare.
Section: Subject Area 4: Integrative Health

7. Espaces odorants et espaces olfactifs

Jamel Hassine ; Jöel Candau ; Sandra Perez ; Lou Sompairac.
Attester le partage d'une expérience olfactive par plusieurs individus est une gageure, du fait d'obstacles théoriques et méthodologiques souvent présentés comme irréductibles. Après une brève discussion de la réalité de cette irréductibilité, nous essayons de surmonter certains de ces obstacles en distinguant espaces odorants et espaces olfactifs. Si un espace odorant peut-être objectivé et donc partagé, il n'en va pas de même d'un espace olfactif qui relève d'une expérience subjective. Cependant, l'effet invasif des molécules odorantes, plus spécifiquement celles qui provoquent des « mauvaises odeurs », est de nature à atténuer cette subjectivité et, du même coup, à faciliter le partage d'un espace olfactif. Notre argumentation prend appui sur des enquêtes ethnographiques menées au Brésil, en Chine et en Inde et sur une recherche menée en géographie sur la spatialisation des nuisances olfactives.
Section: Subject Area 4: Integrative Health